poet Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar

#52 on top 500 poets

If I Could But Forget

If I could but forget
The fullness of those first sweet days,
When you burst sun-like thro' the haze
Of unacquaintance, on my sight,
And made the wet, gray day seem bright
While clouds themselves grew fair to see.
And since, no day is gray or wet
But all the scene comes back to me,
If I could but forget.

If I could but forget
How your dusk eyes look into mine,
And how I thrilled as with strong wine
Beneath your touch; while sped amain
The quickened stream thro' ev'ry vein;
How near my breath fell to a gasp,
When for a space our fingers met
In one electric vibrant clasp,
If I could but forget.

If I could but forget
The months of passion and of pain,
And all that followed in their train--
Rebellious thoughts that would arise,
Rebellious tears that dimmed mine eyes,
The prayers that I might set love's fire
Aflame within your bosom yet--
The death at last of that desire--
If I could but forget.

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Add this poem to MyPoemList

Rating Card

3,9 out of 5
54 total ratings
rate this poem

Comments about If I Could But Forget by Paul Laurence Dunbar

  • Genevieve (9/27/2018 8:53:00 PM)

    I know how this feels. He speaks to the soul of human experience.

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ludolf DauphinLudolf Dauphin (2/16/2018 9:08:00 PM)

    Such a lovely poem. The pain is real.

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Terry CraddockTerry Craddock (3/12/2015 12:28:00 AM)

    Love passion deep emotions, have times of 'If I could but forget', when ecstasy of love awoken, fades into bitter ashes of regretful despair. This raises the famous question, is it better to have loved and lost, or would sanity peace of mind choose, not to have loved at all?

    Report Reply
    4 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ramesh T ARamesh T A (3/11/2015 1:15:00 PM)

    Nicely written poem to read and enjoy sure!

    Report Reply
    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (3/11/2015 5:18:00 AM)

    The hardships that experienced and sorrow a good poem.

    Report Reply
    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Sylva PortoianSylva Portoian (1/30/2010 8:11:00 PM)

    Dunber, We pretend to forget
    But we can't forget.
    Even your hearty poem
    We will never forget
    Because you're a special poet.
    You wrote in a special day.

    Report Reply
    2 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • William Sherratt (4/18/2006 11:43:00 AM)

    A hurting heart beautifully described.

    Report Reply
    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Michele Darnell-roberts (3/16/2006 11:00:00 AM)

    A really beautiful poem. You can feel his aching heart!

    Report Reply
    4 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Sallie Howson (6/4/2005 1:58:00 PM)

    oh this is wonderful

    Report Reply
    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: passion, fire, pain, death, sun